Being Tolerant

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the liberal Democrat claim that conservatives ought to be more tolerant. What a joke.

A good friend of mine (AM) has a friend (DocJess, if you read that earlier post) who introduced herself to me because of some common interest. I was genuinely pleased that she felt comfortable doing so and told AM about it. He told/warned me that he didn’t know two people more politically opposed to each other. I appreciated that but given he’s pretty hard core Democrat and I love him to death, I wasn’t worried.

Well JW and I stated corresponding a little and she sent me (in her words) an opening salvo of information on why we ought to destroy the current health care system and move to either socialized medicine or at least single payer. I appreciated some of the information she provided and while suspicious of how skewed the data points were found that there were lots of things that I actually agreed with her on. Unfortunately, she never really seemed to care about the elements on which we would agree (e.g. de-coupling health insurance from specific employers, treating patients as one case instead of the constant handoffs from one provider to another with each one starting from scratch, etc.). Part of her plan to subdue me with salvos was pointing me to her far left blog which I began reading every day to get the side of the story I wasn’t going to hear on Fox. I’d actually started trying to watch CNN and even MSNBC but it’s so hard to stomach it sometimes (especially MSNBC).

So when I’d read something on her blog I’d chime in with another perspective expecting a tolerant exchange of information. Do you think that happened? Of course not. There were a couple of posters to whom I am very grateful for their patient explanations of their position but mostly what I encountered was a lot of hate speech directed at anyone who didn’t agree with their point of view. This included things like calling all people who disagreed with them “wingnuts” and linking to Youtube videos where creationists are deemed less intelligent than “retarded” people. Some other examples (directly from the blog of these enlightened tolerant people):

I’m hoping that President Carter’s comments lead to a legitimate discussion and condemnation of not just racism, but the misogyny, homophobia, Anti-Semitism and other bigotries that afflict so many Americans Republicans.

I listened last night to some of the right wingnut talking heads explaining how it wasn’t really racism, it was a true objection to “their country” being sold out from under them. Funny, all of the wingnuts seem to be white folks. Mostly men. One of them said Carter’s comments were surprising, since none of this came up during the campaign. Idiot.

all those good christian bible thumping republicans seem to forget to open the good book and read it…

I’ve written, oh…one or two posts on health care which provide base data. I thought it might be helpful to put them all in one place so you would have this data the next time you need to speak truth to morons power people with whom you come in contact.

I’ve bowed out as graciously as I know how to but to me the question is what is the response of a Christian to this type of political environment?

Well, first I wanted to remind myself that we are living as aliens and strangers in this world. We need to be far more concerned for the eternal home of people like AM and JW than we should care about whether or not we have universal healthcare or not. Sure, the Bible does indicate personal responsibility is important and each one should carry his own load, but the main thrust of the Bible is that sinners need a savior and absent true repentance they will all spend eternity in torment. We need to be on the search and rescue squad more than we need to be on the political debate team.

I was convicted that I should have been better informed about what I was getting into from the start. Jesus said “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” I didn’t do that. A wise man would have looked harder into the history of the posts to determine in advance whether it was a place I would be accepted or even trusted. I would have soon found out that the vast majority of posters on the site pretty much disdain anyone different than they are and look down on conservatives with a self righteous moral superiority. I could have spared me and them the heartburn of the last week had I followed the Lord’s direction.

Of course I consider the fact that our Lord predicted we would be reviled. Unbelievers will revile us. People whose total hope is in this world will get angry when you challenge their ideas on how to improve it. They have no choice. God has planted eternity in their hearts and they are trying to respond to it by futile efforts to make this life better. Of course they will revile you if you stand in their way.

What’s the take-away? People are generally as intolerant as they are extreme. It’s true in all areas. Political liberals far left of the mainstream are not tolerant. Born again believers are intolerant. Hopefully it’s on those things that matter like how you get the heaven and the meaning of life, but we are just as intolerant as they are. Are we? When we meet someone who says something as offensive to God’s glory as “no universal healthcare” is to a liberal, what’s our reaction? Do we vehemently promote the glories of the King of Kings like liberals vehemently promote the wonders of government healthcare? Who do you think has the better reason to rise up to the offense?


3 thoughts on “Being Tolerant

  1. despicable September 17, 2009 / 11:22 am

    I am all for responsible reporting on the public airwaves! Those that use the airwaves to deliberately and repeatedly use fabrications that are not true, are dangerous to the public safety and to the constitution that is supposed to guarantee our rights of free speech. Americans have free speech rights, … but not the freedom to shout “FIRE!” when their is no fire, inside a crowded theatre!
    The irresponsable reporting by the likes of “Glenn Beck” creates a “mob” mentality! A mob mentality that can and will (according to history) incite to violence, those that are portrayed as different from that of the mob!
    Let’s face it! There are those in america that are looking forward to inciting a “RACE WAR,” and are using the public air waves and the fact of a black president to incite mobs to act violently against the government of the USA!
    You have to be blind to not recognize the conservative movement direction toward insurection of a pluralistic and multi-cultural america and instituting in it’s place what existed in our racist fundamentalist bigoted past!
    All of this backward movement toward our unenlightened past is being done in the name of fighting “COMMUNISM!

    • michaelkeating September 17, 2009 / 5:54 pm

      …nuff said

    • pat September 23, 2009 / 1:44 pm

      This comment is so ridiculous, along with the name of the poster, that it’s got to be a comedian.

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